Unprepared, disinterested, detached, and chewing gum.

That describes a large part of what you would have observed in the mayor and some of the city council members if you were there tonight. It was pretty rude.

If you weren’t there or didn’t watch on TV, just so you know: people rocked the city council chambers tonight and schooled Gilmore.  Bizarrely, she did not seem fazed at all by the well-spoken, articulate, detailed and well-founded criticism and earnest questions (how could you do what looks so illegal, wrong, disingenuous?) from dozens of outraged citizens. Neither was she embarrassed. . . . 

It was way past my bedtime; I could barely utter coherently by the time the Oral Communications started around 11 pm.  I did manage to request Gilmore rescind her actions last week and  I requested an opinion from the city attorney about last week’s meeting with regard to The Brown Act and the City Charter. But others were terrific; just about every aspect was addressed.  Starting with The Brown Act violations, the City Charter violations, the contradiction between Bonta the candidate (I haven’t worked with Ann Marie Gallant (AMG) so I don’t have an opinion) and Bonta the Vice Mayor with his nonsensical first act to fire AMG; it was pointed out that he should have recused himself because he had no working knowledge of AMG.  And people questioned him as to why he would make this his first act, why he would vote that way. Adam Gillit pointed out how curious it is that Gilmore, Bonta and Tam’s first actions were to fire AMG…and didn’t that correlate exactly to their ‘corporate overlords’ who paid for all those flyers that villified Ann Marie Gallant while urging people to vote for Gilmore, Bonta, and Tam?  Someone spoke and said he’d pay for their recall (get in touch with me! Let’s file an injunction for Brown Act and City Charter violations first!).  And someone pointed out that given what a rush they were putting on the search for a new city manager (publish the job and start interviewing in early February?!), that it was irresponsible: you can’t find the best person for the job in a rush, and you can’t take your time if you’ve fired the Interim City Manager—that’s what an interim city manager is for—to work for you until you find the ideal candidate for the job long term.  And then there was this gem: somehow Gilmore manages to field an agenda item about the sunshine task force and their recommendations and does not see the irony in her actions last week which were to violate our state sunshine law for city governments!

Gilmore didn’t look like she cared one whit.  And it looks like she thinks she doesn’t have to reverse her actions last week. I don’t even think she’ll have the city attorney write an opinion about violations of laws last week.  We are going to have to make her. Council member Johnson inquired of City Attorney Mooney whether there was a time limit on reporting Brown Act violations; Mooney mumbled something about 30 or 90 days—it was unclear.  Johnson, BTW, asked many very good questions.  We are very lucky she’s still working for us bringing her knowledge and skill to the sorely lacking and apparent sum total of leadership capabilities now on the city council.

One of the most interesting revelations tonight happened during the discussion about what characteristics and qualities the new city manager should have.  Johnson and deHaan were talking about the importance of familiarity with California law, how someone from outside of California would not be suitable.  You had to be there to observe the behavior, but GilBonTam couldn’t have been more disinterested in the lively discussion going past them between Johnson and deHaan at opposite ends of the dais.  Johnson and deHaan insisted that the next city manager should come from within California, for very good reasons.  It’s impossible not to see the portent here: GilBonTam have someone in mind for the city manager position who is from outside of California.

Gilmore seemed way out of her league as she tried to say something useful but kept falling short and looking to Johnson to kick off a meaningful discussion. I mean Gilmore fires the city manager last week, has an agenda item this week for a discussion about the hiring qualifications and search for the new manager, and she is not prepared for this discussion??? What type of person does this?! She finally said something about thinking outside of the box and hiring someone from the corporate sector. What a bizarre thing to say!  Could it be she has someone in mind from the real estate development industry?

And finally, would someone please tell Vice Mayor Bonta that chewing gum throughout the meeting is totally unacceptable.  It’s disrespectful to the meeting, his position on the council, moveover it’s rude to those of us who have come there to be heard.  Also, Gilmore needs to learn how to run a meeting—she let any councilmember talk whenever they wanted without the mayor recognizing them first.

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About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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